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Dr. Vanetta LaRosa, Ph.D, BCBA-D
BIO for Vanetta LaRosa, Ph.D., BCBA-D (See www.helpinghandschilren.com)
Over the past 20 years that I have worked in this field I have been blessed to have met the wonderful people with Autism and Developmental disabilities and their families that I have. As an advocate for people with special needs, my education and training has enabled me to work diligently on their behalf. In teaching I hope to have inspired students to work to change the lives of all whom they encounter in a positive way.
Through Helping Hands Children Services we serve close to 200 students with Autism and various disabilities and behavioral challenges throughout New York ( Long Island & NYC). Our services are provided to school districts. We provide Behavior Consultation and Special Education Related Services in the behavioral area primarily. We provide parent training, workshops & trainings, in-school consultation and classroom development, paraprofessionals who have beahvioral training, etc. We also provide consultation to agencies who serve adults.
We have a comprehensive BCBA training/supervision program. We are the speciality ABA agency in New York! Our agency is led by docotral level BCBA's ( Board Certified Behavior Analyts).
I completed a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a sub-specialty in human learning and development in 2007 from the distinguished program at Southern Illinois University. SIUC was one of the very first Behavior Analytic Program in the United States. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA and became a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. While at SIUC I trained at the clinical ACHIEVE program, the first college program in the United States for students with Learning disabilities developed by the esteemed Dr. Barbara Cordoni. I learned how to administer full psycho-educational batteries under Dr. Cordoni and Mrs. Dianne Gordon’s supervision. I received a Master of Arts degree from Queens College in 1998 in Psychology with a behavioral focus. QC is known for its comprehensive behavioral training. I became Board Certified in Behavior Analysis in 2003 and earned Doctoral distinction in 2009.
I taught undergraduate psychology courses at the City University of New York at Kings Borough for eight years, two of which were full time. Those courses included Developmental Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, Psychology of Women, Abnormal Psychology, and Applied Social Sciences. I led a co-taught Social Science research course through the College NOW program at CUNY KCC for two years where I assisted academically gifted high school juniors and seniors complete research projects that led to the submission in the National Intel Science Competition. I mentored several students, one who was named a semi-finalist in 2007. The publication of that study is in the CUNY KingsBorough honors student journal titled Distinctions, volume 1, No.1. I was given two social science research and mentoring awards form Edward. R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, NY in 2005 and 2006. I was named a favorite professor by the students at KingsBorough in 2003. In 2010 I began teaching courses in the BCBA program at the Chicago school of Professional Psychology. I enjoyed the on- line experience for only a short time.
I am the founder of Helping Hands Consultation Services, Inc. DBA Helping Hands Children Services (www.helpinghandschildren.com). I along with the Helping Hands consultants have been providing behavioral consultation to several Long Island and NYC schools for about eight years. We provide Special Education Related Services, with a focus on Behavioral consultation to school districts and in student’s homes.
I am also founder of a not for profit agency developed for children with Autism and developmental disabilities. This Agency, Helping Hands Behavioral Outreach, Inc. is a socialization program based on the power of typically developing peers. There are over 40 students at Helping Hands Behavioral Outreach, Inc. We were awarded grants from the New York State Office of Developmental Disabilities, the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation, as well as private donations and supports from The Italian Welfare League and others. We provide services to kids & teens with Autism and behavioral needs after-school; Saturday's and during school breaks. We have a loving and dedicated staff that gives each participant a rewarding therapeutic experience. We provide dance, art therapy, music, specialized gym, community integration and much more!
From November of 2008 to April of 2010, I acted as the Director of Autism Services for Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. It was a wonderful experience! I now consult for them. FREE, Inc. is a non for profit agency that has operated many successful and unique residential and day programs for individuals of varied backgrounds and disabilities. Family Residences provides Residential Services, Community Services, Adult Day Services, Vocational Programs, Respite Programs, and Medical Services, to over 3,000 persons with disabilities. It is my pleasure to work with them.
I have editorial experience, publications, and social science research awards, have presented at professional conferences, been awarded various grants, and have been nominated to honor societies such as Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Beta Phi, and National Honor Society. I was named student of the year by The New York State Association in Applied Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) in 2006. I am certified in CPR, child and infant CPR, First Aid, Strategies for Crisis Intervention and Prevention and have completed workshops in conducting Functional Behavioral Analyses.
Here is a list of my more recent presentations:
- On Jan. 13, 2011 I presented to Bethpage SEPTA group on sharing a diagnois of Autism with loved ones.
- In Novenber of 2010 I conducted a workshop for professionals on designing complex behavior intervention plans.
- On March 17, 2010 I presented for New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA) Audio Conference - “Understanding People with Asperger’s Syndrome and High–Functioning Autism.” I shared information on the diagnostic criteria, facts and statistics and the differentiation between Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism. Discussed social skills and areas of social difficulty, techniques and strategies to help teach social skills and improve communication, and how to maximize effectiveness in counseling sessions.
- On April 21, 2009 and in August of 2009 I provided a presentation to the clinical and administrative staff at the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities at the Long Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office (LIDDSO).
- On April 22, 2009 I was interviewed on the Fox 5 Strategy Room news program, a live nationwide Internet program.
- On December 1, 2008 I presented at the New York State Chapter of Applied Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) I was asked to speak as an expert on Autism for Autism Awareness month.
- On October 2, 2008, I provided a presentation to the Cody Center
- On November 6, 2007 I was the Keynote Speaker for the Roslyn schools
- I, and several Helping Hands consultants, provide frequent presentations to local SEPTA groups and school districts as well.
As I mentioned, I have worked in this field for 20 years in a variety of clinical and administrative positions and have enjoyed supporting all people with special needs. I consider it my life’s work. I am proud of the clinical expertise that our program has to offer. Together we have helped many kids & families. I am especially proud of the employees and therapists who are part of the Helping Hands team. They are some of the most intelligent and caring therapists around!